Bruke Lemma, PhD
“The ultimate tragedy is not the oppression and cruelty by the bad people but the silence over that by the good people.” – Martin Luther King, Jr.
It is incredibly difficult to comprehend the extreme inhumanity, the depraved cruelty, and the callousness that has been unfolding in Ethiopia over the last five years. It’s almost inconceivable that there are individuals who could perpetuate this level of brutality, capable of descending to such a level and perpetrating these acts day in and day out.
These minds fuelling the extreme inhumanities we have been observing are impossible to comprehend, impossible to fathom, but we are inescapably confronted by them each day. They have left and continues to leave trails of havoc, chaos, and destruction throughout the country, committing unspeakable acts that defy any attempts at description.
Abiy Ahmed’s atrocities, including his increasingly delusional nature and his almost complete disconnection from reality, giving the appearance of someone totally unhinged, out of his mind, have been recounted by many, including myself. His continued stupefying lack of empathy for his victims and his unsettling senselessness have also been highlighted in these articles.
So, why write more? His transgressions continue to grow and expand; there are no signs of them diminishing. In fact, they are becoming even more egregious and breathtaking with each passing day, leaving us all to wonder when this nightmare will finally come to an end. We hope it ends soon; his victims have endured more than what is humanly possible. It’s high time the world comes to their aid, stands firm against the madman, and alleviates their sufferings.
We must continue to write to ensure the world’s attention remains on these victims, as it often easily gets distracted, moving on to the next crisis and the next set of victims without providing true assistance to these ones. This leaves them at the mercy of a madman who is completely out of his mind. Anyone who believes that the madman will suddenly regain sanity and start doing the right thing is equally as delusional as the madman himself.
This madman, Abiy Ahmed, has been directly responsible for the deaths and widespread destruction impacting hundreds of thousands, if not millions of Ethiopians. Adding to this tragic toll, over five million people have been internally displaced due to the wars and conflicts that the tyrant and his Oromuma hooligans have relentlessly incited throughout the country, prominent among these being the wars in the Tigray, Oromia and the Amhara regions.
These conflicts have multiple objectives, including the ethnic cleansing of the Amharas from the Oromia and other regions, surreptitiously advancing the Oromuma expansionist agenda, which involves claiming land and other resources from other ethnic groups in the country and providing cover for the accumulation of wealth and power by the Oromo elites and more.
In particular, the war in the Amhara region was initiated to suppress and prevent resistance against the severe oppressions imposed on the Amhara people everywhere in the country by Abiy Ahmed and his Oromuma hooligans.
Thus, a brutal all-out war is currently being waged against the Amhara people, who have consistently been the favoured targets of oppression and sustained assault by ethno-extremists, including both Abiy Ahmed and Oromuma hooligans now and, earlier, the odious TPLF. These two cowards share the same mindless ‘ideology’ and an insatiable greed for power and wealth.
They have always lived in perpetual fear of the Amharas, unable to believe they had gained the upper hand. Consequently, they have been relentlessly oppressing the Amharas for decades, always wary of the Amharas’ potential to rise up and demand their rightful place in the country. This includes their demands for freedom, equality, and their human rights, in general.
Indeed, these fears have been proven justified, as the Amharas, after enduring immense hardship and suffering, have risen up and are no longer tolerating mistreatment silently. They’ve had enough. Abiy Ahmed and his hooligans now find themselves in a difficult position, precisely due to their severe lack of intelligence and wisdom in finding a constructive way out.
As a result, they continue along their accustomed path of unleashing depraved cruelty, callousness, and brutality, but this approach is no longer effective. They can no longer silence the voices of the Amhara people, and their inevitable defeat becomes increasingly apparent with each passing day. However, this realization only seems to fuel their extreme inhumanity, highlighting their mindlessness and moral bankruptcy.
When Abiy Ahmed marched into the Amhara region and cold-bloodedly initiated the war, he boasted that he would subdue the Amhara people in just two weeks. However, the resolute resistance of the Amhara people, specifically, their sons and daughters who make up the Fanos, a group of dedicated resistance fighters, has shattered his delusions.
The war has now been ongoing for about six months, and it’s becoming increasingly clear that it is not the Fanos who are being defeated. Instead, it is Abiy Ahmed’s army that is facing being trounced by the Fanos, who have extremely limited resources and are armed mostly with weapons that they were able to capture from the army. In response to their mounting losses and growing frustration, Abiy Ahmed’s army has resorted to extreme brutality and inhumanity, targeting and killing countless unarmed civilians, and committing a host of other atrocities.
Meanwhile, the situation in the rest of the country is dire and deteriorating at an alarming rate. The economy is in extreme disarray, the country’s international credit rating has been downgraded, unemployment is skyrocketing, and there are no investments in the nation due to the widespread lack of peace across most regions, among other reasons. Inflation is reaching unprecedented levels, rendering even the most basic necessities unaffordable for a significant portion of the population.
Moreover, the country is now unable to pay regular salaries to public service workers and pensioners in expanding parts of the nation, leading to the closure of schools and the shutdown of an increasing number of healthcare facilities. This failure to pay salaries and pensions has left workers, pensioners, and their families vulnerable to hunger and even death from untreated chronic illnesses, as they cannot afford to seek treatment for their conditions.
However, these dire economic circumstances and financial constraints don’t seem to apply when it comes to Abiy Ahmed’s own priorities, such as constructing a lavish palace for himself and continuously acquiring drones, heavy weapons, and ammunition, almost all of which are currently being deployed in the Amhara region. These resources are used to carry out
indiscriminate killings of unarmed civilians, including women, children, the elderly, and the infirm in that region.
Under Abiy Ahmed’s leadership, the country has now become one of the most corrupt and violent nations in the world, offering almost no services to its citizenry, and is driven solely by the purpose of waging war – a war on its own people. At times, it even threatens its neighbours with war, although it’s nothing more than bluster, as Abiy Ahmed lacks the means to carry it out. Some neighbouring nations have abandoned diplomatic language and started referring to him in public as the ‘madman of Ethiopia,’ a description that, unfortunately, holds true.
I have written several articles about this ‘madman of Ethiopia,’ detailing how he bungles and brutalizes the nation, with the Amhara people being his primary target. It appears that his objective of bringing pain and suffering to them keeps him sleepless at night, as he constantly devises new and improved ways to make them suffer.
We all have borne witness to the heart-wrenching suffering of the Amhara people – a mother losing her entire family, women and children falling victim to Abiy Ahmed’s drones, grief-stricken survivors moving among the dead as if they themselves are dead, and a woman, driven to the brink of complete despair and hopelessness, pleading for help because Abiy Ahmed’s Oromuma hooligans have demolished her house on the outskirts of the capital, leaving her and her children with nowhere to go, and many more such tragedies.
In the face of all these tragedies, the only recourse we have is to continue writing and appealing to the world for assistance for the victims. However, it’s incredibly challenging to find the right words to describe the stomach-churning and extreme inhumanity of Abiy Ahmed’s so-called administration, which is now filled with functionally illiterate, corrupt, and greedy ethno-extremists. Conveying the true urgency of the situation and the desperation of the people who are enduring the relentless violence being inflicted on them by Abiy Ahmed and his mercenary army is no easy task.
This is an army that is meant to protect the nation but is instead attacking and killing its own citizens. Moreover, the world is currently witnessing inhumanities occurring in various places simultaneously, and Abiy Ahmed is exploiting these situations to commit even worse crimes, using the distraction of the global community. Despite these immense challenges and more, we must persist in raising awareness and advocating for those in need.
In the midst of these heartbreaking events, I am greatly encouraged by the remarkable discipline and restraint exhibited by the Fanos who have been battling Abiy Ahmed’s army. While the national army has descended into complete criminality, including committing sexual violence, robberies, and looting, among other crimes, the Fanos have remained untarnished by any such accusations.
In the over six months since Abiy Ahmed cold-bloodily declared war on the region, they have steadfastly refrained from engaging in any criminal activities whatsoever. They have protected civilians, both locals and foreigners, tourists, and others, safeguarding their lives and properties. The Fanos have shown great mercy, even to the captured soldiers, treating them with kindness and generosity instead of resorting to rough justice.
In contrast, the national army has been involved in summary executions. While they have not captured any actual Fanos so far, they have executed those suspected of being associated with
them without any due process. The Fanos have taken thousands of soldiers as captives, yet they have not executed or harmed a single one.
This is indeed heart-warming and highly encouraging. They can serve as an example of resistance, not only in Ethiopia but throughout the world. Their actions remind us of the importance of holding onto our humanity, even in the face of the brutality of others, as without it, everything is lost.
The Ethiopian army has become utterly tarnished by its actions in the Amhara region, and it is unlikely to regain the respect of the Ethiopian people. It will need to be completely reconstituted once Abiy Ahmed is removed from power.
The Fanos, with their exceptional discipline and unparalleled moral stature, could play a crucial role in the formation of the new army that should be established following Abiy Ahmed’s removal. They can be joined by others from different regions of the country who have not been involved in the criminal activities of the current army.
Meanwhile, the world must stand firmly against Abiy Ahmed and his disgraced army. Every individual responsible for the killing of civilians, including Abiy Ahmed, must face justice and be held accountable for their crimes. It is essential to make an example of them to send a clear message that the world will not tolerate such brutalities and extreme inhumanity perpetrated against defenceless civilians.
Urgent action is also needed to impose an arms embargo on the country because there is a likelihood that these atrocities will continue – the killing of unarmed civilians, including women, children, the elderly, and the infirm, which has persisted for the last six months.
The administration has not only been responsible for the current war in the Amhara region but has also been complicit in facilitating crimes against humanity for five years, targeting the Amhara and other people based on their religion and ethnicity. It’s high time to put an end to Abiy Ahmed’s reign, and the world must take actions stronger than diplomatically couched statements, which he simply ignores, to stop him and prevent further bloodshed.